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Monday, December 12, 2016

Best of Utah 2016 logoSalt Lake City Weekly highlighted Managing Editor Bryan Schott in their annual "Best of Utah" edition as "Best Political Schott in the Dark."

The editors said "If you have even one iota of interest in how this state and its cities are run, you should subscribe to or at least visit Utah Policy's site, where Schott curates local news and headlines five days a week in the Morning Must Reads. He also weighs in on the issues of the day with longtime political reporter Bob Bernick in more than 300 "Bernick and Schott on Politics" videos."

Local News Highlights: Daily Briefing

Morning Must Reads for Monday, December 12, 2016

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 347th day of the year. There are 19 days remaining in 2016.

U.S. intelligence agencies say they have evidence Russia tried to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump. Trump appears set to nominate Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. China is worried Trump will dump the "One China" policy.

The clock:

  • Seven days until the Electoral College meets to cast their votes for president and vice president (12/19/2016)
  • 39 days until Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President (1/20/2017)
  • 42 days until the first day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (1/23/2017)
  • 87 days until the final day of the 2017 Utah Legislature (3/9/2017)
  • 330 days until the 2017 municipal elections (11/7/2017)
  • 694 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)

Ten talking points for Monday:

  1. Our "Political Insiders" say Donald Trump should not quit Twitter, but for varying reasons [Utah Policy].

  2. U.S. intelligence agencies say they have high confidence Russia intervened in the presidential election to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton [New York Times]. Trump scoffed at the allegations saying it's "ridiculous" to think Russia had a hand in his victory in November [The Hill]. A bipartisan group of Senators says Congress should investigate the claims of Russian election hacking [Washington Post]. Weirdly, John Bolton, who could be named deputy secretary of state, says the story about Russian involvement in the election could be a "false flag" operation. That suggests the Obama administration might actually be behind the hacking [CBS News].

  3. Donald Trump appears set to pick Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who has deep ties to Vladimir Putin, for secretary of state [Wall Street Journal]. It seems highly unlikely that Tillerson would win confirmation in the Senate as several Republican senators are practically begging Trump to pick someone else [Wall Street Journal]. The author of a book about Rex Tillerson describes what makes him tick [New Yorker]. 

  4. Donald Trump says he doesn't need daily intelligence briefings because "You know, I'm, like a smart person" [Politico].

  5. Poking the dragon. Chinese officials are "seriously concerned" that Donald Trump could abandon the long-held U.S. position that Taiwan is a part of China [Bloomberg].

  6. Donald Trump plans to nominate retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security [The Hill].

  7. Stats savant Nate Silver tweeted on Sunday that Hillary Clinton would likely have won the November election had FBI Director James Comey not sent his infamous letter to Congress about the investigation into her use of a private email server [The Hill].

  8. A new analysis finds eight out of nine Utah legislators are members of the LDS Church, while the overall population of Utah is just 63% Mormon [Tribune].

  9. Democrat Suzanne Harrison says she will not pursue legal action in her narrow five-vote loss to Rep. LaVar Christensen [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News].

  10. Rep. Craig Hall is planning legislation to do away with the vote-by-mail because it left many counties unprepared to handle a glut of voters on election day [Tribune].

On this day in history:

  •  1870 - Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina was sworn in as the first African-American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • 1901 - Italian physicist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi sent the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1981 - Martial law was imposed in Poland.
  • 2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court halted the presidential recount in Florida, effectively making Republican George W. Bush the winner. 

Today At Utah Policy

'Political Insiders' say Trump Should Not Quit Twitter

President-Elect Donald Trump has made a habit of using Twitter to make some questionable claims. However, our "Political Insiders" say he shouldn't leave the social network once he takes office in January....

Another Opinion on the Electoral College

We hear lots of complaints about the Electoral College, especially because Hillary Clinton won the nation’s popular vote, but not an Electoral College majority....

Giuliani Says Hatch's Experience is Vital to the Senate (with video)

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani says he supports term limits, but wouldn't want to lose people with invaluable experience like Sen. Orrin Hatch....

Lee on Repealing Obamacare: 'Let's Get This Done'

In an op-ed at National Review, Sen. Mike Lee lays outhis proposed strategy for repealing Obamacare, arguing that any repeal legislation should address all of the health law's shortcomings and replace them with market-based solutions.Lee says the GOP has a historic opportuni...

Sponsored Essay: Defending BLM Rules that Reduce Waste, Protect Air Quality

The Environmental Defense Fund, along with a coalition of health and environmental groups, has filed a motion to intervene in defense of vital new standards that will prevent the wasteful loss of natural resources, save money for taxpayers and tribes, and reduce em...

Candidate Suzanne Harrison Concedes to Rep. LaVar Christensen Will Not Pursue Further Action in HD32 Recount

After this week’s recount in the Utah House District 32 race between Rep. LaVar Christensen and Democratic challenger and first-time candidate Suzanne Harrison, MD, Dr. Harrison has decided not to pursue further action to challenge the recount....

Utah Budgeteer Honored with Steven D. Gold Award

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) presented Jonathan Ball, the chief budget staffer for the Utah Legislature, with the Steven D. Gold Award at NCSL’s Capitol Forum in Washington on Thursday....

Policy News

Governor Lowers Flags in Memory of John Glenn
As authorized by the President of the United States of America, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has ordered the immediate lowering of the Flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of Utah in memory of John Glenn....

Press Release: Put Your Meter Where Your House Is
The Utah Division of Water Resources announced Wednesday that the Board of Water Resources unanimously approved a new program which will loan up to $3 million per year, at one percent interest, for secondary water meter installations....

Lee Defends Global Down Syndrome Foundation
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor....

Hatch Urges Colleagues to Support 21st Century Cures
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) called on colleagues to support the 21st Century Cures bill and highlighted a number of bipartisan Senate Finance Committee provisions included in the bill....

Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Op-ed: After more than half a century, Jones is still calling them right

Paul Rolly: Could Hatch have put a bug in Trump's ear about Huntsman?

Op-ed: Pass tax-credit bill to keep electric vehicles rolling in Utah

Op-ed: Utah doesn't need more non-compete legislation

Op-ed: Utah has a nursing shortage, and schools are coming together to address it

Op-ed: To optimize our democracy, bury the gerrymander

Editorial: Pollution monitoring is a core government function

After long election lines, lawmaker looking to back off universal mail-in voting

Utah Legislature's budget czar honored

Enviros raise concerns, GOP cheers Trump's reported pick to head Interior Department

Former mayor says Biskupski to blame if more homeless die in the cold

Democrat Harrison concedes, sealing Rep. LaVar Christensen re-election win

Rocky Mountain Power suspends request for new rate schedule, will negotiate with solar stakeholders

Swallow case bumping into barriers that dogged Shurtleff prosecution

Trump reportedly will pass over Romney, Huntsman to pick Exxon Mobil CEO for State

Utah environmentalists decry 'haphazard' plan to build pipeline for mine wastewater

A $2M check, Harry Reid and one frustrated prosecutor

Rolly: Lamb's dodges Cinegrill's fate while Rio Grande Cafe looks to bounce back

If Obama declares a mini Bears Ears monument, would anyone in Utah be happy?

With Utah Legislature's Mormon supermajority, is it representative of the people?

Deseret News

Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Who will be granted their Christmas wishes?

Hal Boyd: Why the Book of Mormon can tell us more about America than Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead'

Op-ed: Utah needs Sen. Hatch

Op-ed: The Electoral College: A hallmark of the Republic

Editorial: Comprehensive corporate tax reform, not increased tariffs! sales tax deal at 1.31 percent

Democratic challenger concedes race to GOP Rep. LaVar Christensen

Judge weighing whether to toss charges against ex-A.G. John Swallow

S.L. mayor says more funding available to shelter homeless from the cold

Trump to name Exxon Mobil CEO as secretary of state, NBC News reports

BLM withdraws controversial Nine Mile Canyon leases

UTA planning nearly $10 million in improvements for 2017

New EPA chief will impact Utah's regulations on air pollution, water resources


Editorial: Utah can't afford to waste the sales tax money Amazon starts collecting in 2017 (Standard-Examiner)

Cache District: Class-size inequality not the norm in dual-language schools (Logan Herald Journal)

Summit County's political divide is crystal clear (Park Record)

National Headlines

Netanyahu says he hopes to work with Trump to undo Iran deal (Associated Press)

Trump: 'Ridiculous' to think Russia intervened in election (The Hill)

Trump expected to pick ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state (Washington Post)

Bill Clinton, Lynch lead memorial for ex-AG Janet Reno (Washington Post)

Biden says Trump campaign would have eaten him alive if he ran (New York Daily News)

Trump to choose Ronna Romney McDaniel to lead RNC (The Hill)

Perry Said to Be Trump's Top Candidate for Energy Secretary (Bloomberg)

Trump team's memo hints at broad shake-up of energy policy (Chicago Tribune)

Top Tech Leaders to Meet With Trump (Wall Street Journal)

Behind the deep ties between Exxon's Rex Tillerson and Russia (CNNMoney)

Boeing's $16B aircraft deal with Iran Air faces challenges (USA Today)

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Wise Words

Eyes on the Goal
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Henry Ford

Lighter Side

"Donald Trump said he has asked President Obama to help recommend some of his appointments. Obama said fine, and recommended Hillary Clinton for president." Conan O'Brien

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